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Case Study

Laura Giles

Sunderland, UK

MBChB Medicine

Laura Giles had always been interested in working in the NHS, and after completing her work experience at Sunderland Royal Hospital she knew it was the right path for her. She chose to apply to universities in the North East, as she hoped to give back to the community where she grew up and made Sunderland Medical School her first choice after being impressed by the facilities and friendly staff. She enjoys her placements and working with different specialists.

From a young age I was always interested in working in the NHS and as I completed my work experience at Sunderland Royal Hospital, it reinforced my desire to work in that field. I therefore set my sights on applying to university. I was very keen to apply to local universities and as Sunderland Medical School was due to open that year, it automatically became my first choice. I had visited the open day at the University and was impressed with the facilities as well as the friendly staff. Sunderland stood out from the other universities I had visited.

Although I received a number of offers to study medicine across the country, my passion was to work within the North East where I grew up. Being at Sunderland Medical School will allow me to give back to the community I was raised in, hopefully working alongside doctors and medical staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital. Sunderland has everything I want in a medical school and the support so far provided from the Staff has given me the confidence and drive to become a successful clinician. The University is a very close knit community, where every student and member of staff are there to help you through stressful situations but make the journey more rewarding. I am grateful to be part of the future of training doctors in Sunderland.

One aspect of medical school I really enjoy is anatomy, where we are taught by leading doctors, surgeons and radiography staff. During these sessions, we use an Anatomage table which is a virtual cadaver, allowing us to dissect the body and locate the internal organs – this is a great way to learn! I also really enjoy GP/hospital placements which enables me to communicate with patients, and see first-hand how medicine is delivered in primary and secondary care.

I would definitely recommend the University of Sunderland. The community feel and positive atmosphere makes studying here an enjoyable experience and definitely helps to balance the stress that may arise. The staff are very knowledgeable and approachable, and I like that the University offers Problem-Based Learning (PBL) rather than just lectures. Initially PBL can feel daunting but I feel it has helped improve my confidence and I actually learn better this way. I could not imagine myself studying medicine at any other university.

Since starting in September, I have been exposed to multiple sectors in healthcare including general practice, psychiatry, consultant specialties and in the local community within care homes. Alongside this, I get the chance to interact with different specialists during my training through lectures and anatomy sessions, where external clinicians teach us. It is interesting to observe their perspective of medicine and what their role entails. From this, I have tried to grab all opportunities with both hands in order to experience the wide variety of specialities my course has to offer, by gaining external shadowing experiences and attending conferences from the Royal College of Surgeons, all of which have been introduced by the Medical School. I find myself having different perspectives on what my future holds each week. Whatever pathway I take in my career, I can be guaranteed to be supported throughout by the staff at the University.

My advice to prospective students would be to aim high and believe in your ability to achieve what you want. I never thought I would be offered a place at the Medical School in Sunderland, but with hard work, resilience and perseverance I was given the opportunity. I would also arrange to attend one of Sunderland’s open days and have a look around at their first class facilities – you would be really impressed! Also to speak with other students to find out their personal opinions and experiences at the University.

So far my experience here has been rewarding and enjoyable. I am very excited for what my future holds at the University of Sunderland.”

Published 14 May 2020

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